To clear waste from Bandhwari, MCG may produce compost in bulk
In an effort to reduce 25 lakh tonnes of legacy waste from the Bandhwari waste plant, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) is looking to utilise the same for producing compost, said officials on Wednesday.
Saurabh Nain, MCG executive engineer, who oversees the sanitation wing of the civic body said that the MCG is using trommel screen machines to segregate and subsequently convert solid waste into compost. He said that the Bandhwari plant has generated large amounts of legacy waste, which has been lying at a spot for a long duration. The waste if left untreated, can cause ecological damage.
Nain further said that the MCG had sent samples of compost for testing to a government-sanctioned laboratory on November 26 in Kundli for determining its chemical composition.
Nain said the tests were completed on November 6 and the report of the results was received last week.
“We have just received the report from the samples and are in the process of reaching out to the chemical engineers and agriculture experts to first determine whether the compost is safe for use. Once proven, the compost can be exported for agricultural use, landscaping purpose, checking erosion or all three. Once its purpose of the use is ascertained, the MCG will also look at the option of setting up a revenue stream gradually,” said Nain.
As per the test report, the moisture content of the compost sample is 16.68%. It has 25.16% ash content, 36.05% carbon content, 17.38% oxygen, and 0.42% nitrogen. “From prima facie evidence, the carbon content in the compost sample seems to be on the higher side, which may be good for agricultural purposes. However, we want to get the entire report analysed by chemical and agriculture experts before proceeding to the next step as we want to be certain it does not cause any ecological damage. Even after they have given us a go-ahead we will lease out the samples to select farmers initially. Only once they give us a confirmation that their output has increased, we will scale up the exporting of compost and look at formulating a revenue model,” said Nain.
Atma Ram Godara, deputy director, agriculture department said that landfill compost is generally good for agricultural purposes provided its decomposition is properly done. He further said that high carbon content in compost expedites cultivation. He, however, did not divulge details on the presence of high metallic materials in the compost.
Vaishali Rana Chandra, an environmentalist, said that chemical analysis of metals in the landfill compost will be the deciding factor on whether or not the compost can be used on large-scale as it can easily meet a similar fate as the compost from the Okhla landfill which she says is struggling for takers.
“Okhla khad (compost) was initially used on a large scale for agriculture and horticulture purposes across NCR by farmers and gardeners. Slowly its use has seen a steady decline as people started realising that the compost is made of mixed waste that contained heavy toxic elements, thereby damaging the soil instead of benefitting it. Hence, the chemical analysis of the compost from Bandhwari is vital before the MCG decides on the next step of its use,” said Chandra.
Highlights of the Test Results
16.68%- Moisture content
25.16%- Ash content
36.05%- Carbon content